Clean LivingPediatric Health

Should I Get the Flu Vaccine?

Cold and flu season are on their way and many people choose to prevent the flu by getting the flu vaccine.  There are also many of you who question whether it is a good idea to get a flu shot.  There are many pro’s and con’s both ways and many other ways to prevent the flu.  I will provide you with some information to help you make your decision for you and your family.

There are three types of influenza viruses; A, B, and C and thousands of subtypes.  Flu vaccines are designed to protect against only three subtypes of influenza (flu) viruses that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. The influenza viruses selected for inclusion in the seasonal flu vaccines are updated each year based on information about which influenza viruses are being found, and how they are spreading.

There are two types of flu vaccines available:

1. Inactivated or killed vaccine.  This vaccine is given by injection and ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer.  All  inactivated flu vaccines contain formaldehyde, thimerasol (mercury), polysorbate 80, chick embryo cells.  Some of the vaccines also contain Polymyxin B, and Neomycin (both antibiotics). For a full list of ingredients go to the CDC‘s website.  Formaldehyde exposure has been linked to leukemia, myeloid leukemia, nasopharyngeal cancer, dermatitis, chronic fatigue, and frequent illnesses.  Mercury exposure has been linked to tremors, impaired cognitive skills, sleep disturbances, delirium, suicidal tendencies, irritability, and increased excitability.

2. Live, attenuated or weakened vaccine.  This vaccine is given as a nasal spray and contains Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), porcine gelatin, gentamicin (an antibiotic).  For a full list of ingredients go to the CDC‘s website.  Monosodium Glutamate can cause burning or tingling sensations, chest pain, headache, nausea, and drowsiness.

There can also be side effects from receiving the flu vaccine.  The following are a list of the most common side effects: Soreness, swelling and redness at injection site, hoarseness and/or sore throat, red and/or itchy eyes, fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, and Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Flu Prevention

Stop the spread of germs

1. Wash your hands frequently, especially if you are blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.

2.  Wash your children’s hands frequently, especially when they get home from school, day care or playing with friends.

3.  Wash your children’s toys.  You can use a gentle soap like BioKleen dish soap.

4.  Do not share cups, utensils, lip balms, or toothbrushes.

5.  Keep your hands away from your face; i.e. rubbing your eyes, biting your nails

Keep your gut healthy

1.  Probiotics: The good bacteria live in our noses, throats, lungs and digestive tract.  This is our first line of defense.  Plenty of good bacteria allows our body to fight more cold and flu viruses.

2.  Eat a healthy diet.  Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which help promote a healthy immune system.

Keep your immune system healthy

1.  Take your multivitamin daily

2.  Consider increasing Vitamin D intake, check with you doctor before increasing your dose.

3.  Take Vitamin C daily

4.  Take immune boosting herbs, like echinacea, goldenseal, olive leaf, etc.

5.  Immune Boosting shots or IV’s: these contain homeopathic immune system builders and high dose vitamin B-12 which can help ward off colds and flu.

Next Week’s Blog: Preventing and Treating the Flu